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All Roads Lead to October: Boss Steinbrenner's 25-Year Reign over the New York Yankees Hardcover – July 14, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (July 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312261756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312261757
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,521,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If there's a sports tale ripe for the telling, it's George Steinbrenner's stewardship of the Yankees. But where to center? On the tumult, the terror, the absurdity, or the glory? In All Roads Lead to October, Maury Allen refracts the broad spectrum. Wandering genially from story to story and era to era, he scatters anecdotes and observations like a spray hitter in a book that reads like a long evening on a barstool beside an old sportswriter (which he is). He may stray at times, but he never gets lost.

Still, it's hard to go too off the track given the situations that have arisen and the personalities that have revolved through Steinbrenner's stormy tenure. Writers can't make up stuff like pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson trading families, Reggie Jackson proving "the magnitude of me" with his bat, the zaniness surrounding Billy Martin's hirings and firings, the humiliation of Dave Winfield, the exile of Yogi Berra, the sentimental melodrama of Joe Torre, and Darryl Strawberry's bottomless second chance. Well-covered stuff? Sure. But Allen's not shy about inflicting his personal prejudices and assessments on them--they give old stuff new spin.

Of course, even in that Bronx Zoo, there's no animal quite like Steinbrenner himself. With insights finely tuned over time, Allen paints the Boss with brush strokes nuanced enough to capture the complexities and contradictions Steinbrenner wallows in--is anyone else in sports so fascinatingly arrogant, egotistical, unbridled, passionate, terrifying, astute, silly, sappy, able, and goodhearted all in one? Allen doesn't think so, which isn't surprising. What is is his ultimate appraisal: "Imagine," Allen submits, "the Boss as a Cooperstown bust." Given the record, it's really not that big a stretch. --Jeff Silverman

From Publishers Weekly

Allen's uneven account of the fortunes of the Yankees since George Steinbrenner bought the team in 1973 can be divided into two partsAthe early years when Allen covered the team on a daily basis for the New York Post, and the later years after he had left the beat. During his days as a beat reporter, Allen had an insider's view of how the team rose from also-rans to world champions, and he provides a detailed, anecdote-filled look at those teams featuring such colorful characters as Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Lou Piniella and Billy Martin. Despite winning back-to-back World Series in 1977 and '78, the Yankees were a dysfunctional group: Allen vividly captures the battles between Jackson and Munson, Martin and Jackson, and Steinbrenner and most of the team. Allen is particularly sharp in tracing the complex relationship between Steinbrenner and Martin, the Yankee manager who Steinbrenner hired and fired five times. He's much less successful in recounting the Yankees' return to glory in the second half of the 1990s. The World Series the team won in 1996, 1998 and 1999 are covered in a perfunctory fashion, as Allen no longer had the access to the team he had 20 years earlier. Also disappointing is Allen's decision to take some cheap shots at several players, including the late Munson, whom Allen describes as a sour man; he even brags that he will never vote for Munson to enter the Hall of Fame. Allen does say, however, that Steinbrenner, having overseen five World Series teams, does warrant consideration in Cooperstown, a position that will have Yankee fans arguing for years. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This book is the most boring piece of "literature" that i have ever read.
Dennis Ferry
Unsure of whether to blame the problems of this book on Allen or poor editing, it is any which way a poor read.
Matthew Mistal
And we all know, if you don't show respect to sportswriters, you don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
tom ridner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By michael luciano on October 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a perfect example of the importance of truth in advertising. If Maury Allen wanted to write a book that provided an overview of his prolific sports writing career I'm sure that there would have been many interested readers. However, he has chosen to write that book and disguise it as a book about the Yankees. Sure, the focus of the book for the most part is on the Yankees, but Allen presents little that the average Yankee fan has not already seen. He also interrupts the narration on the Yankees with stories from his personal experiences that have nothing to do with the Yankees. There are no insights here for Yankee fans, which would be fine if he didn't promise a book about George Steinbrenner's years of ownership with the Yankees. Don't waste your time with this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Paddon on June 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rabid Yankee fan that I am, I bought this book expecting a fascinating overview of the Steinbrenner era with some new insights and perspectives. I got neither.
Maury Allen was without question a talented sportswriter in his prime, but this ranks as the worst written sports history book I have ever read. It soon becomes clear that Allen's book isn't the product of extensive research but merely personal reminiscences and meanderings that offer very little sense of depth or substance about this period at all. Allen's most gripping chapter is his first one concerning his eyewitness perspective on the Fritz Peterson-Mike Kekich "wife swap". After that, it's all downhill with skimpy warmed over rehashings of things I've read about in so many better written books.
Along the way, when Allen skimps over the seasons and games of the period he's supposedly writing about he wanders off into annoying digressions about players of the 50s Brooklyn Dodgers, or the early 60s Mets, or Richie Ashburn, or being rude to Richard Nixon in 1969, none of which has anything to do with the Steinbrenner era. And on top of that, he gets so many basic facts wrong that after awhile it really gets annoying. There's trouble in the opening when he has the Mets beating Houston instead of Arizona in last year's postseason! On another occasion he describes Dave Righetti's 1983 no-hitter as the first at Yankee Stadium since 1951 (uh Maury, what about Don Larsen?) Don Mattingly is described as the first Yankee captain since Thurman Munson (Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry held the position after Munson and before Mattingly).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Zakhar on August 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was quite excited when I first saw this book, being a twentysomething die hard Yankee fan. I enjoyed Maury Allen's work for the New York Post for some time. Now that I've read it, I must say I'm terribly disappointed.
If you are looking for an objective view of George Steinbrenner, don't bother picking this book up. The Boss is clearly a complicated man, generous one moment and cruel the next, but not in Allen's view. He only casually mentions Steinbrenner's Hyde-like moments, then spends pages gushing about George's generous deeds. Yogi Berra's anger toward the Boss and self-imposed exile from Yankee Stadium is left out almost entirely.
Allen can also be quite sloppy at times. Chances are most people reading the book know that the "Curse of the Bambino" was born when Babe Ruth was traded to the Red Sox. Even so, bringing up the phrase once or twice is justifiable; to retell the story every time the Red Sox are in a pennant race, every time the Yanks sign a free agent from Boston, etc. gets to be tedious. Yet, that anecdote and others, are repeated and repeated.
Plus Allen glosses over that long, rough Yankee stretch between playoff appearances and completely ignores the terrible trades where that Yanks gave up future all-stars like Willie McGee for mediocre players like Bob Sykes. When Allen closes with the notion that the Boss is worthy of consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame, I shivered and wondered where such an idea could have come from.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tom ridner on July 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Maury Allen's book mentions, numerous times, that Thurman Munson was not a nice man. He was rude to fans, waitresses, and Heaven Forbid-sportswriters. Allen happily mentions that he has never wasted one vote on Munson in Hall of Fame votes. In fact, not voting for him appears to be revenge for Munson not giving quotes and quips for Allen's stories in the New York Post. This is precisely the reason sportswriters should not vote for Hall of Fame inductions; as Allen states, the writers vote on what they thought of the ballplayer as a "man", not as a clutch ballplayer, who always came through when his team really needed him to. And we all know, if you don't show respect to sportswriters, you don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Sportswriters believe, that since they know how to put two sentences together, they are more important than the players they write about. Gotcha, Maury. And go to Hell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Quinones on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Maury Allen's first-hand "account" of George Steinbrenner's 25 year reign over the Yankees completely lacks insight and anything remotely interesting on the Yankee dynasty. Reading this book will leave even the casual fan feeling empty. Not only does Allen's book lack insight, it is loaded with inaccuracies and flat out mistakes. For example, did you know that "Bobby Thomas hit the shot heard round the world?"
Allen's book completely misses the mark and often overlooks critical periods in Yankee history. Jim Leyritz's homerun in 1996 does not even warrant a remark by Allen, nor does Joe Torre's infamous story about sweeping the Braves in Atlanta in 1996. The current streak of three out of four world series championships is barely mentioned or quickly covered. Allen seems to have comprised content and substance in an effort to not upset anyone mentioned in the book. Unfortunately, he fails to portray Yankee life during the 25 year circus at the hands of the Boss. A swing and a miss!
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